How do you get a pizza delivered to your door when there is no one to deliver it? You get an automated car to do it for you! Sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. Toyota is teaming up with a number of restaurants, retailers, and ride-sharing companies to bring entire stores and deliver packages to you via a self-driving van called the e-Palette.
Although the self-driving van is only a concept right now, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, plans to pilot the vehicle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. What’s different about the e-Palette versus the many other autonomous vehicles currently in production?
It’ll be large enough to hold small stores and can be reconfigured in less than twenty-four hours for maximum flexibility. But if Toyota thinks they’re the only player in town building self-driving delivery trucks, they should think again. Ford has already partnered up with Domino’s Pizza to test out a similar concept car and delivery service. May the best self-driving delivery truck win!